Now is the time to visit Woodland’s Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, where the 1880s Victorian farm home and impressive display of lilacs in full bloom will dazzle visitors during the annual Lilac Days Festival. Last year I purchased a beautiful "Frank K" lilac at the garden and it is just coming into bloom. So I know it's time to go back! It's Lilac time.
The festival runs through Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, at the gardens, 115 S. Pekin Rd. (exit 21 off I-5). The house and gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Admission is $3, and children under 12 are free. For more information, see www.lilacgardens.com or call 360-225-8996.
Hulda Klager is known for hybridizing lilacs and creating some of the amazing varieties that can still be seen in the garden today. Hulda Klager came to this country from Germany with her family in 1865 when she was two years old.
She studied the writings of Luther Burbank. She was known for the extensive varieties of lilacs that she cultivated on the property in Woodland. Surrounding towns came to her to have a lilac named after their town. She lived with her husband, Frank in the home that you can tour today.
After her death in 1960 at the age of 96, the property was marginally cared for until it was saved from the bulldozers by the Woodland Federated Garden Clubs. They saved the home and garden and had it declared a state and national historic site.
Over the years, the property has changed. Once there were huge orchards and the home and buildings were just starting to be restored. Now, the orchards are gone, sold for home development, but the core property is in amazing condition. The two story home contains Klager family photos, furniture and artifacts but also has a great deal of area history. But most of all, it is a beautiful comfortable home and a great representation of an early 1900's farm house.
The water tower, windmill and carriage house have also been lovingly restored by volunteers from the local area. Add in extensive work on the gardens and you will be amazed at what has been happening on this historic property.